By Dennis Udoma, Uyo
Infant Jesus Model Secondary School in Oron Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has said, its effort in wining laurels for the state could not be reciprocated by the Akwa Ibom State government.
Principal of the school, Rev. (Sister) Dr. Laurencia Essien made the lamentation, when one of her students, Miss Mary-Bright Essien, who came first for Akwa Ibom in the just concluded ‘‘National Science Quiz Competition’’ in Kano was frustrated from representing the country in India for lack of sponsorship by the state government.
Dr Essien, in a chat with newsmen on Monday said, despite representing the state in academic competitions and emerging the best the state government was yet to recognise Infant Jesus Model College, Oron.
According to her, ‘‘the state government could not sponsor one of my students, Mary-Bright Etim, who emerged the overall best in Science and Project Qiuz Competition in the country, to travel to India for similar competition.
“One of the challenges we have is that, government does not recognize the school. We have represented the state in many aspects but, the recent one we came back from Kano, where one of my students emerged champion in the Local Government and Champion at state level and, later went to Kano to become the best in Science subject in the country could not be supported.
“She was to travel to India to represent the country but she could not, because there was a percentage the state government was supposed to pay for that trip but they did not.
The principal stated, “When I called the Chairman of Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) in the state, she said she had submitted the letter to the Ministry of Education but, when we spoke with her the state government did not do anything and by this time, Abuja were calling to ascertain our compliance” she said.
Akwa Ibom State Chapter Chairman of STAN, Dr. (Mrs) Anyanime Okopide Akpan when contacted on the telephone said, she was not aware of the matter, as those who passed through her were recently sponsored to South Korea.
“I am not even aware of their own case, but some of them from their batch were invited to South Korea and they went and came back.
“They sent letters to me which I forwarded to the Ministry of Education along with my covering letter and the state government was able to assist them.
“Sincerely, in the case of Infant Jesus Model Secondary School, I have not seen any letter from the school. The principal only called me. Maybe they applied direct, I have not seen, government supported West Item. Secondary School, why wouldn’t they support the school”, she stated.